You’ve probably seen a story like this. It makes a good point:
Why Go To Church?
A churchgoer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. "I've gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So, I think I'm wasting my time and the preachers are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all."
Someone responded with his own letter to the editor: "I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this, they all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!"
In an ideal world, we would study a topic for a quarter or hear a sermon and retain everything. But it isn’t an ideal world. We forget a lot, even things that are vitally important to our spiritual well-being.
It takes constant attention to keep focused on higher things, and this must happen on various levels: daily devotional readings, inspirational articles (i.e., the issues of "Biblical Insights" magazine provided in the lobby), Bible-class preparation and participation, sermons, short talks on Wednesday evenings, etc.
It is through this continual exposure (and our memories, which are probably sharper than many of us think) that we remain conscious of spiritual principles. As per the above illustration, we keep nourishing ourselves so that we have “fuel” for each day’s work and struggles. And over the long haul, we should expect to see real growth from this constant sifting through divine thoughts and perspectives.
Like the first letter-writer above, if we attend worship or Bible class with the attitude that it “does no good,” then it probably does no good. But if we engage ourselves in study, worship, attentive listening, etc., then the effect will be both immediate and cumulative.